Our latest conservation successes May 2021

May 12, 2021

There is much to celebrate in this month’s Conservation Pulse. From the “Top 100” young conservation leaders in Africa who’ve been recognized for their amazing work to the millions of individuals who came together to speak up for nature during Earth Hour. Every one of us can play a part in building a future where people and nature thrive.

EARTH HOUR HIGHLIGHTS GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS

May 7, 2021

From its origins in the Australian city of Sydney just 15 years ago, Earth Hour has become one of the world’s largest grassroots environmental movements – helping to give people a powerful voice on the climate and nature loss crises. On Saturday 27 March, millions of people from around the world came together to speak up for nature and climate during WWF’s Earth Hour 2021. The event took place in a record-breaking 192 countries and territories, achieved over 9.6 billion global impressions and trended in 42 countries across Twitter or Google Search. An amazing achievement given the huge impact of COVID-19 on everyone’s lives right now – and proof that the message of respect for the environment and sustainability is reaching far and wide, and that many strongly feel that the need for action is now. Individuals, youth groups, global leaders, celebrities, businesses and other organizations helped highlight the importance of protecting and restoring nature for the one home we all share. And our first-ever “Virtual Spotlight”, a video that shows the link between nature loss and pandemics, had 2.4 million views in just 24 hours – making it the most watched video in Earth Hour history!

HELPING TO PROTECT AND RESTORE OVER 20 BILLION TREES

May 6, 2021

Forests are central to the lives of people and wildlife around the world. And their ongoing destruction adds to runaway climate change, biodiversity loss, economic inequality and the risk of pandemic outbreaks. For the past four years, the Trillion Trees initiative has been striving to halt deforestation and restore forests. A partnership between WWF, BirdLife International, the Wildlife Conservation Society and Restore Our Planet, Trillion Trees has helped leverage support towards protecting 18.3 billion trees and restoring a further 1.8 billion. This work has ranged across 60 countries, including projects connecting 450,000 hectares of forest fragments to protect endangered species in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, and the planting of tens of thousands of indigenous tree seedlings to restore Mount Kenya's forest. Read the Trillion Trees’ latest impact report to find out more about what can be achieved together if we invest in the future of our forests.

COMPANIES REJECT DEEP SEABED MINING

May 5, 2021

Our recent report showed that plans to mine the deep seabed for metals and minerals would harm this sensitive environment. So we are delighted to see that several major companies have joined our call for a global moratorium on deep seabed mining, and for alternative solutions that don’t cause environmental harm. The move was led by the BMW Group and joined by Samsung SDI, Google and Volvo Group, who all pledge not to source any minerals from the deep sea, to keep mineral resources from the deep sea out of their supply chains and not to finance deep sea mining activities. WWF invites other companies to get involved by signing this statement calling for a moratorium. People as well as the natural world are at risk from this activity, with potential harmful effects on global fisheries threatening the main protein source of around 1 billion people and the livelihoods of around 200 million people, many in poor coastal communities.

Read more

HELPING PEOPLE AND NATURE IN AFRICA GET FRESH WATER

May 4, 2021

Fresh water is a shared resource that people and all wildlife on land depend on. So we are excited to announce an ambitious new freshwater initiative in Africa that aims to support human well-being and safeguard the environment.

Under the Blue Heart of Africa initiative, we’re working alongside four global organizations, which are experts in drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, to help ensure that Africa’s freshwater resources are managed effectively – both maintaining Africa’s rich biodiversity and vital natural systems, and setting strong foundations for sustainable development and secure livelihoods. WWF Africa Region Director Alice Ruhweza said: “We don’t have time to waste; integrated actions are needed now to ensure Africa’s sustainable water future – before climate change, rapid urbanization, and future potential global pandemics combine to lead us down an inescapable path. By working together, we can lift up both human health and landscape health simultaneously for the benefit of all.” The innovative “One Health” approach of this initiative, which sees human and ecosystem health as being interconnected, will see WWF collaborating with Water.org, IRC-WASH, WaterAid and CARE.

Read more

AUSTRALIAN FISHERY DECISION MEANS CONSUMERS WON’T BE MISLED

May 4, 2021

Overfishing of the slow-growing and late-maturing orange roughy in Australian waters in the 1980s and 1990s led to a catastrophic drop in their numbers. It still remains on the Australian government’s endangered species list, and yet repeated attempts have been made to have fishing of the species certified as “sustainable” in waters east of Tasmania. Thankfully, an independent adjudicator has agreed with our objections for a second time and turned down the latest bid to enable it to carry the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) blue tick of sustainability. Dr Krista Singleton-Cambage, WWF-Australia’s Head of Climate & Food Security, said: “An MSC blue tick on orange roughy caught in Tasmania’s eastern waters would seriously mislead consumers, who trust that label as an indication of the sustainability of that species. While orange roughy will continue to be fished in Australia, WWF discourages consumers, and our partners, from buying or sourcing orange roughy from Australia until the science can support otherwise.”

Read more

TOP 100 YOUNG AFRICAN CONSERVATION LEADERS RECOGNIZED

May 2, 2021

Young people have a crucial role in building a sustainable future for our planet. So we are proud to recognize 100 exceptional young Africans aged under 35 from 23 countries for their leading conservation role on the continent. Each and every one is making a unique contribution to sustainable development – from being involved in conservation at a community level to leading advocacy campaigns on national and international issues. And there have been some big successes, including the restoration of vast forests reserves and the development of sustainable livelihoods for individuals and communities. This is the first time a “Top 100” list of young African conservation leaders has been compiled, coming after a rigorous selection process for the 565 nominations received from 425 conservation organizations and youth networks. The “Top 100” will each benefit from a one-year leadership development programme that will help them to scale up their initiatives. The list is a collaboration between the Africa Alliance of YMCAs, African Wildlife Foundation, World Organization of the Scout Movement, and WWF.

Read more

CALLS FOR ACTION

May 1, 2021

  • Urgent action needed on climate crisis: The recent Leaders Summit on Climate, hosted by US President Biden, kicked off a crunch year for climate action. We need world leaders to turn their promises into action and build towards a successful outcome at the COP26 global climate talks in November.
  • How food businesses can manage water better: fresh water is essential to all people and economic activities but this precious resource is under increasing pressure. A new WWF report, in collaboration with Germany retailer EDEKA, looks at how food retailers can use scenarios in the WWF Water Risk Filtera leading online tool that enables companies to assess and respond to risks ranging from water scarcity to extreme floods and pollution – to better understand future risks to their agricultural supply chains and help build a more water-secure future for all.
  • Nature must bounce back after pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic has had harmful impacts on protected and conserved areas, with dramatic drops in tourism revenue affecting both livelihoods and nature conservation. WWF-Brazil Head of Science Mariana Ferreira’s blog highlights how governments must address this in their pandemic recovery plans.

Past Conservation Pulse updates →